Taking Care of the Adults

George Couros
2 min readMay 27, 2020


Just some thoughts swirling around in my mind…

In the past few weeks, I have been discussing social-emotional learning and mental health with guests such as Tony Sinanis, Jody Carrington, and Mandy Froehlich. Why would I discuss these topics on a podcast about “Innovation” in education?

This is from “The Innovator’s Mindset”:

“…at the heart of innovation are people, not stuff. If we always keep that truth at the forefront of our work, we are more likely to create an innovative culture.”

What has come to the forefront of everything that is going on right now in and out of education is that people are at the heart of learning and innovation.

It isn’t technology.

It isn’t a cool new program.

It isn’t any initiative.

It is people.

People bring great ideas and learning to life and humanity to our schools. Being human, when we are so focused on digital tools, is more critical than ever.

This has always been true, but it is more apparent than ever.

I know many schools across the world of education have emphasized social-emotional learning for their students, but what is more apparent than ever, is that it can’t be a “nice-to-have” initiative but a necessity.

Dr. Jody Carrington, the author of “Kids These Days,” talks in-depth about the “compassion fatigue” that all staff in education face:

Taking care of one another in education is less about “programs” and more about recognizing what we do to cause unnecessary stress and anxiety on our staff, and what we can do to lift those that we serve.

Consider asking these questions more often (thanks, Joe Sanfelippo!):

How are you doing?

What do you need?

What can I take off your plate?

Even those that seem to be “fine” could benefit from having the answers to those questions being heard.

I have always tried to focus on doing “what is best for kids” in education, but what is truly best is making sure the adults who work with the kids have what they need to succeed and to feel whole.



George Couros

Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant. I also like dogs.